Friday, May 26th, 2017 07:35 pm
In the second year of my BSc, one of the lecturers asked us to build a Unix shell. In those days, Unix on PCs was a novelty, and most people used accounts on a minicomputer called altair. (Now I feel old.)

Anyway, a fundamental part of building a shell is the sequence of fork() then exec(). It's unique to Unix-like systems, and most students were unfamiliar with it-- hence the exercise.

Now, if you miss out the exec(), you'll have a continuous loop of fork()s, otherwise known as a fork bomb. This could bring down the system, especially in those days. So imagine several dozen CS2 students logging in to the same computer, building a fork bomb by accident, and setting it off.

The funniest part was how angry he was with *us* in the next lecture. "The sysadmins are saying I told you to put fork() in a loop! I *never* told you to put fork() in a loop!"
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Friday, May 26th, 2017 10:52 am
[community profile] hidden_passages: Hidden Passages is a new community dedicated to gothic horror and gothic romance works in film, television, and literature across history.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 08:44 pm
Harry/Ginny Daily has moved to dreamwidth! Join us @ [community profile] hgdaily  for your weekly (mostly) dose of Harry/Ginny fics, art, recs  & news :)
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 03:57 pm
"NEEGATIVE FIVE STARS. What a terrible recipe! I was out of flour but
didn't want to go to the store so I substituted a cup of plaster and a cup of gravel, spray margarine for the cultured butter, and stevia drops for the sugar, and then fried the batter in bacon grease instead of baking it. And I didn't give it the 24 hour rest recommended in the recipe because I'm impatient. The results are INEDIBLE and clearly you CANNOT COOK and should DELETE YOUR BLOG."


Context is tired of stupid recipe reviews.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 02:48 pm
[community profile] shadowhunterstv: A fan community to share fanwork (graphics,fan fics,discussions etc) for Freeform's Shadowhuntes: The Mortal Instrument TV series.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 06:50 pm
From [community profile] punning's profile:

Puns and wordplay welcome, the worse the better. Long, short, contorted, obscure, whatever. Filthy OK, but must use cuts and some kind of content warning. Likewise triggery. Visual puns OK, but must have description in an alt= tag. Likewise, recorded audio or video puns need a transcript of some kind. (I'm not deaf or blind, so leaving the specifics open, but if you don't know what's needed, be prepared to take those who do at their word, and accept contributions if offered.)

Clean or filthy, puns will likely break your brain over time and cause copious amounts of pain. If you can't live with that, you probably shouldn't be reading this comm.
Thursday, May 25th, 2017 05:45 am

Posted by karen

I finished working on TIP‘s production of The Diary of Anne Frank on Sunday night.   I feel a little lost without the show as it took over my life, particularly during the last couple of weeks.  Although I have been involved in other shows this was the first time I got to see every aspect of putting together a production.  There is a surprising amount of work involved and whilst I have been thinking of directing I’m a little daunted by just how many things a director is expected to do.

As well as assisting the director I got to paint the set, sew, knit, crochet, sing, waltz, and help make props.  I was fascinated by the props.  Some of the things on set look so life-like yet I know that they were put together with things like plastic garbage bins and old food cartons.  I loved the set.  There is something magical about seeing it come to life on a blank stage.

The Diary of Anne Frank – Photo Credit: John Matthews

I’m incredibly glad that I was given the opportunity to work on the production.  I worked with an experienced director, Jonah Hagans, who was willing to teach and put up with my lack of experience.  I worked with so many people including sound and lighting experts, a Tony nominated set designer, the most supportive theatre liaison, and a stage manager who has become a friend.  The cast were amazing at telling the story and still managed to bring me to tears during performances even though I had seen every rehearsal.  It is a story worth telling and I believe we told it well.

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, people are truly good at heart.”

Anne Frank – The Diary of Anne Frank

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 10:23 am
Duolingo finally released a Japanese course, currently only available for iOS. I've been curious what they'd do for that for ages, so I immediately took their placement test to start the course. Background, so you know where I'm coming from: I've been studying Japanese for a hell of a long time, and I'm ... middling at it, been stuck in the intermediate plateau for years because I haven't been able to devote much time to study. Kinda hovering around N3 level, though I have yet to actually pass the N3. But I can get around and have some conversations depending on the topic and read things depending on the vocab. And I've tried a lot of different tools and courses between my formal education at university and my self study.

Also, after I was placed, I found the things I missed were either me making a stupid mistake I did know but failed to input correctly, or me incorrectly guessing what English sentence structure they were intending me to respond with. So instead of going through the rest of the course normally, I tested out of each topic individually, which took me between 1 and 3 tries for each topic. Again depending largely on my luck in guessing what English sentence structure they were looking for. Except for the Olympics topic, which I knew I didn't know much terminology on, so I completed that one normally. It took me around 3 hours to complete everything.

The tl;dr version is that it seems like a decent introduction to Japanese, but the amount of material it covers is approximately the amount we covered in my first month or two of material in the beginning class at college with focus on somewhat different topics. My guess is, based on my experience with the Russian course, that you'll still want to study hiragana and katakana on your own outside of it, but it does provide a relatively gentle introduction to the characters and the entire course is using them, so you'll get practice in reading. If you're looking for just an intro or practice reviewing basics, this would be fine. But don't expect to come out of this course with anything more than basic/travel Japanese. You will sound oddly formal, but understandable, and be able to read... nothing, really, with the amount of kanji and grammar they teach.

some detail )

It's a little difficult for me to compare to their other courses since I haven't completed any others, but also just this course seems sparse on content. As a general Duolingo critique, I'd love to see some of the features that are available in languages like Spanish (or possibly only Spanish?) in other courses, really. Such as the interactive chat bots and speech detection. The speech detection is somewhat spotty in my experience-- I've said things in English to the iOS version that it counted as correct Spanish, but the Android version seemed better at detecting me saying the actual words-- but if they could improve it that would be also nice to have elsewhere. (Russian, please!) Also, give us something else to do with lingots.
Friday, May 19th, 2017 11:03 pm
I've detected a mystifying new trend in scores for movie trailers: lifting a well known riff from a classic rock song, and planting it in a new context. Ahead of a screening of Guardians 2 last night, no fewer than 3 trailers used this trick. Valerian features the haunting wordless chorus from "Because" by the Beatles; Thor: Ragnarok employs the intro to "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin; and the Tom Cruise remake of The Mummy borrows the guitar lick from "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones.

Do these trends emerge purposefully from the bowels of Hollywood marketing departments, or are they some unconscious manifestation of our cultural zeitgeist?
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Thursday, May 18th, 2017 05:36 pm
asuran mesmer with Bolt's lighting footfall
asuran mesmer with Bolt's lighting wield effect

Bolt. Finally. Now on to Astralaria, haha.
Thursday, May 18th, 2017 12:10 pm

When we were teenagers, my brothers and sisters and I played a game called Starlight; we’d made it up and it evolved over time. There was a deck of 64 cards. Here are some of my favourites, drawn by teenage me.

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STARLIGHT. Top card in the deck.

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ALCHEMIST. Part of the game was that everyone could choose a card that represented themselves. This was my card.

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PHARAOH. This card was the most powerful/valuable. He gained a microphone in this edition because we’d just finished a school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

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POET. He’s writing something about himself and weeping.

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OREAD. An oread is the spirit of a hill, just as a dryad is the spirit of a tree.

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DRYAD. This was my brother Andrew’s card– he wore glasses at the time. This edition has his eyes drawn heavily blue, because Andrew has noticably blue eyes.

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NAIAD. The spirit of a stream.

The full set is here: https://thurman.org.uk/starlight/ . Apologises for the card called MADMAN: I know better now.
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Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 03:51 pm
[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex and [personal profile] icon_uk debate the definition of "folklore":

PSYCHOPATHICUS_REX: Not to be pedantic, but (werewolves being vulnerable only to silver bullets) is strictly Hollywood - any old bullet will do. Don't muck up your folkloric credentials now!

ICON_UK: As folklore is more or less completely made up, I fail to see how Hollywood isn't as valid a source as anywhere else, considering how humans everywhere always LOVE turning things into stories.

PSYCHOPATHICUS_REX: Well, the way I look at it, Hollywood folklore is stuff you KNOW is made up - traditional folklore has generally been around for a long time, and at least stands a chance of being true. Personally, I'm a bit of a mystical type by inclination, so I prefer to give it the benefit of the doubt.

ICON_UK: I think I'm more of a Granny Weatherwax type in such things. Folklore is lore told by "folk", and how reliable have people you think of as "folk" ever been? :)

Context discusses magic, headology, and Gen-X British comics fans' Friend On The Other Side.
Monday, May 15th, 2017 02:31 pm
So depressed.   The item on ebay with the right part number turns out to only be the visual part of the screen, and doesn't include the  touch screen glass!   Why would you use the same part number for two different things???

Unless someone knows where else I can get the parts, or has the same laptop that is dead for another reason (eg: dead motherboard etc), I need to raise almost double what I have already, as with the touch screen glass, they want  $300 :-(  which is sadly still cheeper than the $900 that HP wants! 

Here's the reply from the seller I asked just to be sure before spending the money:  fithfath.com/farm/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Capture.png

Going to ask if they sell JUST the glass, but I rather doubt it, :-(

Monday, May 15th, 2017 03:21 am

Posted an update with thank yous and specifics about where I am right now on our farm site here: http://fithfath.com/farm/

I also added an amazon list for those that did not want to use PayPal or did not have ability to use it.  You can also PM me for a postal address if you happen to have the Wacom Pen (even if the nib is missing) etc.

I'm exhausted from working on that, despite breaks, so sorry sort post, and all thank yous are over there.  Gotta try to sleep now.

Sunday, May 14th, 2017 08:36 am
Why is it so hard to find any info on this stained glass art? Judas Iscariot, hanging from a tree, his soul 'as a baby being pulled out of his belly by satan.
It is in the Chicago Art Museaum in the medieval hall- on the opposite side of the room from where the armor and spears etc are displayed. I think it was made in the 1500's? give or take.
I have tried googling everything I can think of ("judas iscariot" + "art institute chicago", "judas iscariot" + hanging + stained glass) and so on. Tried google links and google images. Can't find a damn thing!

Image under cut (if I do this right.... Read more... )
Sunday, May 14th, 2017 01:15 am

This is how JKR's vocal  fanbase supports her by villifying marginslised people, and how JKR can't even be bothered to respond, let alone apologise, to a fan who point out the reality of her actions.  JKR only wants to hear from those who praise her, the rest, can be eaten by her minions. 

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/09/jk-rowling-under-fire-for-appropriating-navajo-tradition-history-of-magic-in-north-america-pottermore

Dr Adrienne Keene told Rowling on Twitter that “it’s not ‘your’ world. It’s our (real) Native world. And skinwalker stories have context, roots, and reality … You can’t just claim and take a living tradition of a marginalised people. That’s straight up colonialism/appropriation.”

After she spoke out on Twitter, Keene said that she had been deluged with responses, “with the typical accusations of my oversensitivity and asking if I understand that Harry Potter is fictional, and more directed hate telling me my doctorate is being misused and I’m an idiot.... 

Also worthy of note is that Rowling is known for responding directly to fan questions on Twitter, and overall being accessible to her fanbase. Despite thousands of tweets directed at her about these concerns, she has not addressed it at all. The silence is noted, and it’s deafening,” wrote Keene.